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The holiday season is nearing, which for many means gift giving. Whether they’re for your family, a significant other, or friends, there are a lot of people you may want to give gifts to. While it may be what’s on the inside that counts, the appearance of a present can also make the person you are giving it to feel special. And you don’t have to break the bank to impress. Here are some creative, affordable ideas of how you can wrap your gifts this holiday season.
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If you’re trying to stick to a budget during the holidays, don’t worry about buying wrapping paper — just use materials you already have at home like paper shopping bags. If you have bags that already have a holiday pattern on them, that will save you time. Otherwise, you can add a festive design yourself.
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A tea towel can double as wrapping paper and a gift. Tea towels pair well with other items that fit in the kitchen, such as a bottle of wine, olive oil, a mug or tea leaves.
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A small, pretty gift can also be part of the wrapping. For example, a ring, bracelet or necklace can make for a shiny, sparkly accent on your presents.
After finishing a box of cookies or any other baked goods, you can use the box for your presents — it's not too different from the gift boxes you’d buy at the store. You can even paint it with colors that are fun and festive.
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People love hanging lights around and on their homes during the holiday season. How about putting them on your wrapping paper as well? Draw or paint some holiday lights on brown paper bags, or wrap your package in string hung with colored paper shaped like bulbs for a 3D effect.
Instead of buying pricey bows at the store, cut bow shapes out of construction paper. You can print out a cutting guide to make your own stencil.
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Origami is a fun indoor project for you and your family, and you can make up a batch of origami bows for whenever you need them as creative toppers for gifts.
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Brown paper packages can be plain if you just leave them as is. But, if you use a string or a ribbon and tie it with a tag, that gives the gift some more character.
If you don’t have the best penmanship, you can use letter stickers to spell out the season's greetings or the recipient's name on your packages.
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Washi tape is normally used for crafts and stationery, but it can also be used for gift decor. You can layer washi tape vertically or horizontally in a pattern to make a visually appealing gift.
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Why buy crayon-printed wrapping paper when you can make a DIY 3D version yourself? If you have small toys or craft supplies such as crayons, building blocks, stickers, toy cars and more, you can upcycle them to make a design on plain paper. You could also leave the paper plain and include these interactive elements for children to decorate their own package.
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For the family members or friends who love nature, add a rustic touch to their gifts by using evergreen branches, pine cones, acorns or other items you can find outside.
If you don’t have access to natural gift toppers, you can always go the faux route. A faux flower or bundle of leaves can add visual appeal without wilting.
Tinsel makes an inexpensive but effective and versatile present topper for holiday gifts. You can wrap boxes with garlands of tinsel like you would with ribbon.
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You can DIY your own spotted wrapping paper by sprinkling it with colorful dots using paint and cotton swabs.
Did you like drawing on chalkboards or using sidewalk chalk as a child? If so, wrap your gift in black paper and draw a fun design or write a thoughtful message in chalk.
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If you want some sparkle, wrap your gift in paper and use a silver paint pen to add some fun details to the gift. You could draw a bunch of fun designs that remind you of winter.
For a whimsical, 3D detail, pom-poms made of yarn can create a fun accent on the presents you will be giving away.
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Know someone that is a math wiz? Consider using graph paper as wrapping paper. Align your tape along with the straight guidelines of the graph paper to keep your wrap job looking smart.
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Love to paint? Get some butcher paper and use watercolor paints to create a fun, tie-dye design. You can then cut up your creation into pieces for multiple presents.
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Tissue paper might feel like an afterthought, but it has lots of creative potential. You can wrap presents directly in tissue paper, use it to create pouches or envelopes, or use it as decor on boxes or bags. For example, you can secure some pieces of tissue paper to the bag and cut small strips out of them to create a fringe effect.
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Some everyday supplies can be upcycled to help you elevate your gift wrap, such as buttons. You can use buttons or make a cute design on paper, put them on the tags and more.
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Have a friend who is well-traveled? Wrap their present in a map as a nod to their pastimes. Perhaps it will inspire their next adventure.
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Is your friend or family member a book lover? You can use pages from an old or damaged book as wrapping paper for a personalized and sustainable touch.
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Have a family member that likes completing the crossword puzzle, sudoku or other puzzles in the newspaper? You can create wrapping paper from them that will be both a personalized touch and something to keep them busy later.
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Celebrate your relationship with the recipient by wrapping your gift in photos with the two of you together. They can take a trip down memory lane before they open their present.
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If you stocked up on stamps to support the USPS or mail holiday cards, you can use them to turn plain paper into wrapping paper. You can also cut out and save stamps you receive in the mail during the year. A few stamps in the corner of a package with the recipient’s name and address written on it can make it look like a letter. If you plan on traveling with your presents after wrapping them, here are tips on how to travel with gifts.
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